We have met so many incredible people through our coaching for Team Fox and this week's runner, Michael Kelly, is at the top of the list. Mike is 59 years old and lives in the the small town of Cornwall, NY (about an hour north of NYC) with his wife, Ellen, of 35 years. They have three children ages 25, 28 and 30 (Michael, Mary, Jennie). Mike was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 51 and, amazingly, decided to take up running a few years later. Since then he's completed multiple races including several NYC marathons! Running, golf and tennis are what keeps him going; finding that the more he exercises the less medication he needs on a daily basis.
What also keeps him going is the support he gets from the his family, friends and the people at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Each year, Mike runs a 5k & 10k charity event over the Storm King Mountain and another at the Newburgh Brewery with all proceeds going to the MJFF. Mike understands that everyone who has Parkinson's is affected differently - he chooses to keep his chin up and stay positive (like everyone, he does have his moments).
When did you start running?
I've never been a runner, but I did play sports. I began my running career in 2009. My daughters were training for the NYC Marathon. My daughter, Mary, hurt her leg and couldn't run. So, like a nut I said if you can get me in, I'll run along with my other daughter Jennie. So they got me in through the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF). Halfway through the race Jennie couldn't continue. So guess who was the only one to finish? From that point I have now run 4 NYC Marathons and all three of my children have completed one with me. That's a great feeling.
Who or what inspires you to run?
Everyone who is struggling everyday with this disease inspires me in different ways. It is tough to pick one. Michael J. Fox would have to be at the top of everyone's list, without a doubt.
What is your favorite running route? Why?
Can't say I have one route that I like better. Depends on the mood.
Favorite post-run meal?
Sam Adams and pasta.
Best piece of running advice?
Don't go out to fast. That's easy for me since slow is the only speed I have.
Are you running for fun or sport?
Definitely for health.
Who would you love to run with and why (doesn't have to be a runner)?
This is somewhat ironic. Before the marathon I asked Michael J. Fox if he would run the last couple miles of the marathon with me. He said yes. And he did! ----- I was glad he waited since I was quite slow. Great end to a great race.